A Less Imperial President

Obama is right to seek congressional approval for war in Syria.

In the runup to an attack on Syria, some disenchanted voters were thinking, "This wouldn't be happening if we had elected Barack Obama." On Saturday, they got a welcome surprise: They did elect Barack Obama.

That would be the Obama who opposed George W. Bush's aggressive interpretation of presidential war powers. "The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation," Obama said in 2007.

But once in the White House, Obama suddenly grasped the attractions of being free to do whatever you want without getting permission from fussbudgets on Capitol Hill. He intervened in the 2011 Libya civil war while claiming the action was exempt from the time limits in the 1973 War Powers Resolution. His refusal reached unprecedented heights of absurdity when the administration insisted that sending U.S. planes and missiles to destroy enemy targets did not trigger the law because it did not constitute "hostilities."

Obama never admitted second thoughts about how he handled Libya. And in recent days, he gave every indication that he planned to act with similar disregard for the law and the Constitution in Syria.

Facing requests that he put the question to Congress, the White House released a statement Thursday saying, "The views of Congress are important to the president's decision-making process." It sounded exactly like that recording when you're on hold that says, "Your call is very important to us." He bridled at the idea that the lawmakers were entitled to anything more than an explanation of what he planned to do without their consent.

But in the end, he had the grace and maturity of judgment to change course. Maybe he was persuaded by the letter, signed by 140 House members, that could have been taken from his 2008 position papers. "Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization," the letter said, "would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution."

Maybe he was sobered by the sight of the British Parliament standing up on its hind legs and rejecting Prime Minister David Cameron's plan to join the attack against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. Maybe he reviewed lecture notes from his time teaching constitutional law and realized how grossly out of step he was with the intent of the framers and the mandates of the law.

Maybe he realized that his National Security Agency's surveillance program had pushed many of his supporters to the limits of their indulgence and that they needed a reminder of why they voted for him. Or maybe Obama got up Saturday morning, saw the grinning face of Bush in his bathroom mirror, and decided it was time for a change.

In his expansive view of executive authority, Obama had not been as bad as Bush; he had been worse. Bush claimed vast powers as commander in chief but asked and got Congress to authorize the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama went to war in Libya without giving Congress the time of day, and he apparently was ready to do the same in Syria. The craven record of legislators on such matters gave him every reason to believe he could get away with it.

A sudden reversion to his past ideals cannot be ruled out. But there were also sound political reasons to take a more inclusive approach.

Obama unwisely climbed out on a limb when he warned that any use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime would cross a "red line." He obviously feels he has to take action in following through on his threat, even if it doesn't promise to do any good. Going to Congress offers a way out: If the votes go against him, he's off the hook. Supposing Congress goes along, though, he has someone to share the blame with if things go badly.

Whatever it was, it was an overdue step toward recognizing that the person holding our highest office has only limited powers, and for good reason. When a president wants to incur the dangers of war, he had better make sure the nation is behind him. And if it's not, that ought to matter.

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  • ||

    But in the end, he had the grace and maturity of judgment to change course.

    There's the old Chapman with Chocolate Nixon on his nose.

  • ||

    No shit.

    Goddamnit Chapman. He told congress it would be fine if they gave him a rubber stamp, but if they didnt he would do it anyway. How exactly does arrogance amount to grace?

  • ||

    Or he punted to Congress in order to walk himself down from the limb he was on after the Brits said nay.

  • Number 2||

    And in typical Obama fashion, as he has done on every single issue during his presidency, he implied that anyone who votes against military action is a shameless partisan acting out of crass political motives.

  • setTHEline||

    I'm glad I didn't have to scroll down to the bottom of the page to write something similar. Obama cares about Obama. He doesn't care about the Constitution, Americans, or Syrians.

  • Jose Chung||

    This, sadly, is the case with most politicians. They care far more about themselves and the power they seek to maintain than the established and agreed upon rules, the people that entrusted them with such power, and the victims of that power when misused.

  • db||

    So Chapman is Shrike?

  • Being Waterboarded||

    Could not have said it better.

  • Tulpa (LAOL-VA)||

    Maybe he reviewed lecture notes from his time teaching constitutional law and realized how grossly out of step he was with the intent of the framers and the mandates of the law.

    Maybe he had a vision of the Virgin Mary and Tupac in his teleprompter and is going to retire to a Trappist monastery to do penance for his sins.

  • Vincent Milburn||

    That reminds me. Some Trappist nuns in Syria have an opinion on attacking Syria:

    http://www.catholicworldreport.....iSb5rwpeG8

  • Number 2||

    It was a classic climb down.

  • ||

    Palin on Syria: 'Let Allah Sort it Out'

    I cannot understand why she makes liberals lose their minds. If she advised people walk upright liberals would scream and tear their hair and begin crawling. The worst reaction she ever gets out of me is indifference.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Sista Sarah is someone who got famous for mouthing the positions of two GOP war hawks (McNasty and Kristol) now saying something completely different to burnish her fake Tea Party cred.

  • ||

    That is not an answer.

  • ||

    My liberal sister was OBSESSED about Palin for a while. It was as if all American politics, pop culture and life ran through Palin with liberals and progressives.

    All she did was send link after link after link about Palin's kids, apparent immorality, record in Alaska, about that idiot journalist/writer who went to live next to her, etc.

    It got be an abnormal thing for a while about someone who wasn't going to get anywhere near power. BUT, anyone who dared attempt to ask or investigate Obama's past (a man in POWER)...oooo nelly! How DARE YOU?

    His connections to socialist organizations, questionable Churches run by dubious characters, and other things about his past are not fair ground?

    They're mental.

  • Virginian||

    For a while Palin was Emmanuel Goldstein. Then it was Mittens. They'll roll out a new one soon.

  • Lady Bertrum||

    Rand Paul

  • Not an Economist||

    Yet you have zero issues when Obama does the same.

  • BardMetal||

    I don't understand it either. All I could figure out was that in Liberal Land, having a bunch of kids and living in a rural area equals stupid Alaskan chillbilly.

    I also think that too a slightly lesser degree GOP women are treated the same way as GOP blacks, hispanics, etc. Perhaps in their minds Palin is a traitor to the sisterhood.

    Of course it might just be jealousy. She's an attractive women, who seems to have a great family life, and a great career.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Not being able to answer basic questions from a campaign-chosen lightweight like Katie Couric might be a factor.

  • RightNut||

    Could say the same about Obama from his first debate vs Romney.

  • ||

    That first debate will stay with me forever. Never seen anything like it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Obama went 2-1 against Romney though. And Romney was no lightweight - he was a polished debate foe who combined corporate salesmanship with effortless lying.

  • db||

    That's okay, once Obama polished his salesmanship, he leveled that particular table.

  • ||

    Fuck off 2-1. According to who? ESPN? In any other realm it was a draw. Obama did NOT KO Romney in any of the debates.

    And Obama even had outrageous help from the moderator.

  • ||

    Yes. Obama doesn't lie.

    What a piece of work you are.

  • Greendogo||

    I don't think he was implying Obama is not a liar. I think he was implying that Romney is a corporate salesman.

    Anyone on this site knows that they're both liars.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The Couric interview was maliciously edited to make Palin look as bad as possible, something that Couric later admitted.

  • Duke||

    Not being able to answer basic questions from a campaign-chosen lightweight like Katie Couric might be a factor.

    I can’t imagine any presidential candidate sounding more inept than Obama without his teleprompter:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=of61E1FesPU

  • Mike M.||

    Gay guys in particular (like our own Weigel's for example) are totally obsessed with her for some bizarre reason.

  • ||

    I remember when her 'I can see Russia' comment was misquoted by Fey. My 12 year old nephew at the time couldn't understand why she was being made fun of something that is a geographical fact. All my sister could muster was, "yeah but, it's the way she said it!"

    Even her kids looked at her funny.

  • ||

    If I had a nickel for every time I heard somebody repeat that Fey quote because they thought Palin actually said it, I could go out and get a nice steak dinner with all the trimmings. If you make it a dime if they also say something like it just goes to show how stupid Republicans are, I could get pretty loaded at the same time.

  • Tony||

    A ridiculous moron who says ugly, awful, racist things like what you just quoted was almost a heartbeat away from the presidency. If you're not screaming and tearing your hair out at the mere prospect, then you aren't reacting strongly enough.

  • ||

    What quote?

  • ||

    And....Tony!!

    Psh!

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    So Obama, who is the President, says stupid malicious racists things, and that's ok?

  • ||

  • Dan||

    It's all about maintaining control of the women voting block.

    Just like blacks, women vote in irrationally overwhelming numbers for democrats. They do so because most people aren't paying close enough attention and just believe whatever narrative the mainstream media decides to sell them.

    So the media has to do everything possible to put the kabash on the idea that any respectable woman in her right mind could ever possibly aprove of or, god forbid, be a part of the republican party or tea party or whatever enemy they're trying to discredit.

    It's the same reason they bust out the house nigger and uncle tom descriptions for any black person that dares to say anything that could even be mistakenly interpretted as conservative.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Hi Dan, Me-thinks you are correct about “…women vote in irrationally overwhelming numbers for democrats. They do so because most people aren't paying close enough attention…” … I sure wish they were voting Libertarian instead, or even (ugh!) Republicrat, because Republicrats at least want to grow the Government Almighty at 5% a year not 15% a year… I just really-really DO wish that Republicrats (and even Libertarians) would pay attention to the concerns of women a wee tad more. Which leads me to “shaming wands”, and a solution that we Scienfoologists have put forth for that problem, see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/sonograms/ ….

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    A sudden reversion to his past ideals cannot be ruled out.

    Which past ideals? His stated ideals changed with the wind.

    If he would take Clinton people on as advisors and actually listen to them he probably wouldn't get himself into these situations. He never should have left Chicago. His team's skills are best suited for that limited environment.

  • Skip||

    I think its safe to say that if American casualties from the Iraq War had been less than 500 or so, Bush would have kept his approval ratings above 50%. That is the only thing the Left has learned from the Bush years.

    Arab lives mean nothing to them. The anti-war cause only mentioned them as icing to once again call Republicans racist. They really only care about (mostly white) Americans dying or getting injured. I don't expect Obama to forget this. That is why bombing Syria is no big deal to the Obamaites.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Obama spoke out against the idiotic Iraq War while it had 90%ish approval from the American people back in 2003. That was also when every Republican called us anti-American or a traitor for opposing it. We didn't know if the US body bag count would be 300 or 10,000.

    But we knew Bush was lying and fabricating the intelligence to get us into that war. His Treasury Secretary publicly stated that Cheney and the war hawks had been planning that war since the inauguration in Jan 2001.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Serving as a counterpoint to demonstrate Obama's perfect partisan behavior once he held the reins of power.

  • ||

    And yet Congress voted in favor.

    If Obama believes in his cause so much, why does he circumnavigate Congress?

  • Not an Economist||

    But the group he was speaking to was 90%ish against the war, so how was it brave?

  • RightNut||

    You're full of shit. The Iraq war never had an approval anywhere near 90%. I recall it topping out somewhere near 60%.

    It was pretty fucking easy for a Democrat politician in a Democrat town to be against a war started by a Republican. But just keep eating Obama's asshole, you are so good at it.

  • Not an Economist||

    Hey just because we criticize a republican every couple of seconds doesn't mean we aren't all far right wing doctrinaire republicans.

  • BardMetal||

    Ok this is a bit off topic but it always bugs the hell it out of me. I don't understand why some people insist that Arabs and Syrians are not white.

    Arabs are white, Syrians, and Persians are too.

    Look at a picture of Assad, and tell me that's not a white guy.

  • RightNut||

    Ya I dont get that either. I've known a few Arabs and Iranians, and apart from considering themselves Arabic or Persian, they never thought of themselves as anything but white.

  • ||

    Peter King: Unlikely that resolution will pass giving Obama approval on Syria.

    Rand Paul: Only a 50/50 chance it will pass.

    Jim Inhofe; Doubts that Congress will approve the use of military force.

    Inhofe: ""It may sound real easy when people like Secretary [John] Kerry say that this is going to be quick and we’re going to go in, and we’re going to send a few cruise missiles, wash our hands and go home. It doesn't work that way. This could be a war in the Middle East. It's serious."

    ""If you’re going to say something, you’ve got to back it up, and this president clearly has retreated from the position that he took, not just in the last couple of days, but about a week ago when he talked about a red line,” Inhofe said on "Fox News Sunday."

    So, Obumbles has painted himself into a corner by arrogantly assuming that all he had to do was point his finger at Assad and make a mean face and Assad would obey his wishes. Now he painted himself into a corner further by demanding a rubber stamp from congress, who is unlikely to give it. Is there any doubt that this is a display of breathtaking incompetence?

    This is par for the course for the jug eared dimwit. This is the guy you tie yourself in knots to defend Stevo.

    Best case scenario: Congress tells him no and he does it anyway. Congress impeaches him. Senate refuses to try him, but the narcissist loses his mind. He has a stroke and spends the rest of his life drooling in his lap.

  • RightNut||

    And then we get President Biden, who coincidentally also spends his time drooling in his own lap.

  • ||

    I keep hearing that but t is hard to see how that could be worse. Obama is that bad.

  • RightNut||

    A distinction without a difference is no difference.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Biden would be better if only because he won't get the black messiah pass from the media.

  • DenverJay||

    See, I don't understand why people say that. The media have become so openly partisan that it is not the "black messiah" that they are cheering for, it is ANY liberal. Although I do admit that Obama's heritage does make it convenient for them to be able to trot out the "racism" bullshit.

  • Tony||

    He's not that black. Oh, you said bad.

  • crashland||

    Plus at least Biden is an American. An idiot yes, but an American idiot. Obama may be a citizen but he is not an American.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Here is what you Bushnecks will never understand - Obama never wanted to intervene in Syria. That is why nothing has happened in 2 years. The Brits and US public opinion gave him a nice way to delay his decision date and to lay off the war support to Congress.

    Not every POTUS is surrounded by warmongers like Bush was.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Obama never wanted to intervene in Syria

    Drawing a line in the sand sure helped that position. By that estimation, he's an idiot or you're full of shit. Either choice suffices for me.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "Obama never wanted to intervene in Syria."

    That's why he said he wants to go in and wants Congress to authorize him to do so?

    You can be somewhat annoying sometimes:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cVlTeIATBs

  • ||

    Yes, people here are 'Bushnecks.'

    Astonishing.

  • Not an Economist||

    But he said he wanted Assad out of power, which gave Assad an excuse not to listen or talk to us. And apparently there is evidence chemical weapons have been used before so why was this the fabled "red line" and those weren't? And by delaying military action for so long he is giving the Syrians time to move things around so any military strikes will more than like do nothing. And the resolution he sent to Congress is very open ended.

    Plus he violated the War Powers Act in the action against Libya.

  • DenverJay||

    Also, remember that Saddam used chemical weapons long before Gulf War I, and nobody blinked an eye. (Well, except the Iranians, of course)

  • crashland||

    Especially the ones gassed.

  • ||

    Obama lacks wisdom. This should be apparent to people by now.

    Obama is long on rhetoric and short on principles.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yet in every situation he does the astute thing - from the financial crisis to Libya. Syria is far from over yet in the end you wingnecks will be scratching your bellies wondering how he made it work to our advantage again.

  • RightNut||

    Your war boner is massive isn't it? You can practically taste the blood of the innocents on your tongue right? Its ok, you can admit it. As long as you think it will prop up Obama's poll numbers you can murder away.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    I am anti war in Syria and am on record for this - I will quit the board if Obama wages a Bush-style war there (100,000 or more ground troops).

  • RightNut||

    Cuz lobbing missiles, doing bombing runs, and giving weapons to Assad's enemies so we can wage a proxy war is ok?

    Your such a little fucking weasel.

  • ||

    Oh, now it's ground troops where lefties draw the line? Jesus. Christ.

  • wwhorton||

    I am anti war in Syria and am on record for this - I will quit the board if Obama wages a Bush-style war there (100,000 or more ground troops).

    Would you characterize that as a "red line"? What if he only sends 90,000. Still ok?

  • ||

    Oh.

    And you claim to be "classical liberal?"

    From where I sit, his foreign policy is a complete, aimless mess.

    Yes, we know where you stand on his 'success' about finance and economics.

    We know.

  • tarran||

    It's the Internet equivalent of a homeless guy whose brain has been turned into cottage cheese thanks to years of cheap malt liquor as his only nutritional intake. I don't think you can even consider it a sentient human anymore.

  • ||

    Wow. I guess I should not be surprised at the level of mendacity you can stoop to, given that you claim jugears is an staunch supporter of the second amendment. That one is hard to top, but you may have just done it. Just wow.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    That's Grade D trolling. Do better or fuck off.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    ...yet in the end you wingnecks will be scratching your bellies wondering how he made it work to our advantage again.

    On Obama's team, or simply deluded?

  • Jordan||

    Yet in every situation he does the astute thing

    Yet just the other day, you said you only supported Obusha because he's only just better than Bush. Which is it?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Yet in every situation he does the astute thing - from the financial crisis...."

    Ha! Ha! Ha!

    Get back to me when you can actually prove that any action taken by the Obama administration did anything whatsoever to relieve the financial crisis or anything whatsoever to improve the economy.

  • wwhorton||

    When Buttplug and its ilk post stuff like that I swear to god I feel like maybe something happened and I've found myself in a parallel universe where Obama is a competent, moral statesman. I mean, you can't actually believe something like that unless you purposefully isolate yourself from any news source or media. And I think you'd probably have to be retired and living off of extensive savings, because any interaction with the economy would give the lie to his Periclean leadership pretty damn quick.

  • R C Dean||

    Yet in every situation he does the astute thing - from the financial crisis to Libya.

    Holy Fuck. Let's look at some of Obama's "astuteness" in action:

    (1) Financial Crisis: voted to bail out Big Banking, then signed and implemented a "stimulus" bill that sent most of its money to prop up state governments.

    Result: Massive debt, the weakest recovery ever, and a job market that has flatlined.

    (2) Libya: Yeah, running off Qaddafi has really come up roses.

    (3) Egypt: I mean, c'mon. He bet the farm on the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now out of power while a civil war brews up and starvation looms.

    (4) Syria: Nothing says "astute" like issuing an ultimatum you aren't prepared to enforce.

  • RightNut||

    Chapman is right, Obama had a change of heart, except that the state department has said that even if the vote is against military action, Obama can do it anyway. Obama himself has indicated this is just a show vote to try and gain an air of legitimacy.

    Chapman and everyone else needs to drop the idea that Obama was ever a principled person and accept him for what he is, a ruthless statist politician.

  • ||

    Chapman? dont hold your breath.

  • ||

    The statism and ruthlessness is par for the course. The trouble with Obama is that he does such idiotic things like going out on a limb on this Syrian thing (assuming he isn't trying to--succesfully--wag the dog). I'd take a practical ruthless statist like Bill Clinton over a bumbling, stupid politician like Obama any day. Sure Clinton bombed Yugoslavia, and never got Congress' permission to do so, but at least he did it because there was majority support for a president to do something.

  • DenverJay||

    I vote for "wag the dog". Notice how the whole NSA/Eduard Snowden thing has fallen of the media radar?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    He's Edward, *I'm* Eduard

  • Rich||

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "We spied on 1,000 Brazilian govt communications"

    "1,000 brazillion? How much is that?"

  • Not an Economist||

    A little more than Germanium and a little less than Japanian.

  • ||

    1 Giga Mulatto

  • ||

    If I'm not mistaken, there's an obvious troll liberal who goes by the name Palin's Buttplug, answering the question of why Palin makes liberals lose their minds.

    Irony just reached a new order of magnitude.

  • ||

    Yes, and his persistence in accusing people here of being Bush fans, something that exists only in his mind, is significant. Every socialist/fascist needs an 'other' to hate, an other that is usually fabricated out of thin air. It is sinister and pathetic at the same time.

  • ||

    No, I think it is just basic trolling, well done but simple stuff. I never respond to it, and it ignores me in turn. Don't feed works, but a lot of folks seem to get off on having their buttons pushed.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I think whoever it is, is hungover this morning. The quality is lower. Or maybe it's because John isn't around.

  • ||

    Speaking of John, MNG actually was a pretty interesting foil. I never considered him a troll.

  • ||

    The thing that gets me about this administration is its amnesia. We're not that far removed from the way they acted under Bush. In trying to attempt to distinguish "this time it's it's different" they just look even more disingenuous - besides, they're just plain bad at it.

    I heard a journalist ask Kerry why he was so angry with Bush's "coalition of the few' when that's exactly what Obama has PLUS likely no Congressional AND public support.

    Naturally, Thurston Howell III danced around it.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Yes, ostensibly Obama has no real support for his position on Syria - now watch it sail through the Senate 80-20. The focus will then turn to the dysfunctional Tea Party House - right on plan.

  • ||

    Hey, it's possible but the point apparently according to your own damn laws is he should take it to Congress.

    If you believe, you'll get the votes. If he ignores and goes above, then he's a dictator.

  • XM||

    I'll be shocked out of my mind if 80 senators voted for military intervention of any kind in Syria.

    For that to happen, they need the courage to disregard public opinion and the fact UK (or Great Britain) Parliament already voted against doing anything on Syria.

  • ||

    The British said no in part because there was no clear objective articulated by Obama. Judging by how clumsy he sound sometimes with all his 'ugh' I don't blame them.

  • creech||

    I've heard a number of people opine that the Rebels are responsible for the gas attack (false flag), yet I've seen nothing from Assad claiming that. So, if true, why isn't Assad screaming that it is frame-up, unless he is welcoming a U.S. strike in order to further inflame his supporters to Assad's ultimate advantage?

  • ||

    I looked around to see if I could find anything he has to say, and it all seems eerily reminiscent of Saddam's rhetoric before the invasion of Iraq. I see nowhere where he denies it, which is odd.

    Speaking of similarities, the Bush haters who constantly scream about how Bush lied about WMDs are now chomping at the bit to go to war in Syria over Assad gassing his own people ( which they are not ). They are not claiming that he has WMDs, but that the mere act of using them is justification. Saddam also gassed his own people. According to liberals, that alone was reason enough to go to war.

  • ||

    Mr. Obama challenged them to consider "what message will we send if a dictator can gas hundreds of children to death in plain sight and pay no price."

    Stunning.

  • ||

    I might add unconvincingly. He looks AND feels like a weak leader. You get the feeling he's trying to act tough - like the skinny kid in the locker room who knows he has back up.

  • DenverJay||

    Oh yeah, I mentioned the Iranians he gassed, but forgot about the Kurds. Also, remember how he drained the Tigres-Euphrates Marshlands and destroyed the Marsh Arab (actually Persian) culture and people?

  • ||

    why isn't Assad screaming that it is frame-up

    Good point, assuming it isn't simply due to media sequestration.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    he had the grace and maturity of judgment to change course.

    Yeah, right. Or perhaps, as he was charging up the hill, yelling, "Let's git 'em, BOYZ!" he glanced over his shoulder and noticed his loyal troops were nowhere to be seen.

  • ||

    John Kerry; “No decision is made until the president of the United States makes the decision."

    Hear that Congress? You dont have the power to declare war, or the power to stop the emperor should he decide to execute one. In fact, you have no power to make any decisions at all.

    I think we should have a different system.....maybe one where congress makes the decision about whether or not we go to war. One were the president is only the commander in chief who prosecutes whatever wars congress tells him to.

  • ||

    “No decision is made until the president of the United States makes the decision."

    Except when it was Bush.

    A wind surfer and community organizer are running foreign policy surrounded by people who don't see what difference any of this makes.

    "It's me. White! Whit....e"

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Yet in every situation he does the astute thing - from the financial crisis to Libya.

    DERRRRRRRRP

  • ||

    I'm still nodding my head at that one.

    Classical liberal in favor of individual rights my fucking ass.

  • Tony||

    The word was astute, not libertarian-friendly. That would be the opposite of astute. One cannot govern as a dogmatist, and if one tries it will always result in total disaster.

  • DenverJay||

    Yes, because governing as a left wing hack has sure done wonders for the American economy, healthcare system, geo-political position....

  • ||

    "Asute." /White Goodman giggle.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

  • wwhorton||

    Astute. You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  • XM||

    A less imperial president compared to his predecessors. But he's still imperial. Just consider his DOJ, illegal appointments, Benghazi, etc.

    The "revolutionaries" who tore apart Egypt and Libya had some public support. Since Qaddafi and Mubarack were overthrown their own people, Obama could take a more neutral position while supporting them. He's smart enough to say "This is now YOUR country, and we will play a supporting role in erecting an responsible government".

    But the Arab Spring was a bust, and since both Assad and the rebels are accused of committing atrocities, Obama lacks a moral ground to launch attacks. The parallels between Iraq are eerily similar.

    Obama is indeed a very astute man. He has people tracking talk radio or right leaning sites to find out what the opponents say about him. He knows that we like to compare him to Bush. He knows that if gas attacks occur here or in Europe, Americans will begin to wonder if their leaders are afraid to act simply because they want to avoid comparisons to Bush or appearing as "warmongers".

    He covers his bases by asking authorization. "Hey, I tried to do SOMETHING. It's Rand Paul and his friends who wanted to stay out"

  • Cloudbuster||

    I'd be more impressed if I didn't think Obama was doing it entirely for political cover, rather than some principled beliefs in separation of powers, Congressional authority and executive limitations.

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